Tomatoes and Figs

I read an article this morning in the LA Times that suggested that the two largest makers of cola are both racing to find a substitute for their sugary drink. Their goal is a drink with no calories, no artificial sweeteners and no funny aftertaste. Their researchers predict that it could take years. Granted, they are trying to create a “soda” with these properties but aren’t all of their goals found in something right under their nose? Lets review: no calories, no artificial sweeteners and no funny aftertaste. Wouldn’t that be water? Haven’t they just perfectly described what has been quenching thirsts for thousands of years?

I do not understand the constant desire for sugary drinks. There is a taste satisfaction in the occasional soda similar to that of a twix bar or a caramel, but most people don’t consume those treats on a regular, even habitual basis. There is nothing that our body wants or needs available in a soft drink. And now we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are BAD for you. There is only one reason for these drinks being so popular: advertising. If you really want to lose weight, stop coke. That is all most people have to do to cut down on calories without any nutritional loss. I mean stop completely. Don’t cut down to one or two a day or even a week. Stop completely, cold turkey with no substitute other than water. You will immediately notice a difference.

My wife was just at the grocery and was talking to a checkout clerk. She mentioned something about buying raw horseradish verses the jarred, processed variety. He said that he had never eaten any frozen or processed food in his entire life. He is in his forties and said that he has NEVER been sick. Food for thought!

Here is another simple salad. The ingredients are all really fresh and ripe right now. You can improvise this one pretty easily, but here is my take.

Serves Two


  • 3-4 Ripe Tomatoes
  • 2 Ripe Figs
  • 1/4 Red Onion
  • Handful Mint Leaves
  • Toasted Spicy Pecans
  • 3 oz Blue Cheese
  • Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar (optional)


  • Chef’s Knife
  1. Cut tomatoes into quarters or eighths, depending on the size.
  2. Slice the figs lengthwise then in half.
  3. Cut the onion into slivers. You may not need all of it, depending how strong it is.
  4. If you don’t have store bought spicy sweet pecans, spread some on a cookie sheet, dust them with some brown sugar and a little cayenne pepper and roast for about 30 minutes. Let cool. We buy them at Trader Joes.
  5. Arrange artfully on salad plates.
  6. Crumble a sparing amount of cheese.
  7. Tear a few mint leaves.
  8. Drizzle lightly with really young, delicious olive oil. Optionally add a few drops of balsamic.

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